We’ve come to another Memorial Day; many, many thanks to all who have served and who are currently serving this country so diligently and so well. My admiration and respect for all of them knows no bounds.
Here are the things I am thinking of on this Memorial Day:
- Freedom is not free. It is paid for in blood and sacrifice.
- We must never forget our history and how we got here.
- We must remember what honor is and how to keep it in our hearts.
- Patriotism is a conscious act of remembrance, pride, heritage and history.
I think of all those grand men and women who literally gave life and limb to pay for our freedoms; will we ever see the like of them again? One hundred years from now, will there still be veterans of war who will remind us in their sacrifice of the true price of freedom?
It is said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it; I’m afraid this is all too true. It is sad to see that, when the national anthem is played at any event, half the people there don’t know to stand up, remove their hats and place their right hand over their hearts to show allegiance to our country.
Does anyone say the Pledge of Allegiance anymore? Back when I attended grade school, it was the common practice to start our day with this and then the Lord’s prayer. This was back when no one questioned this, and no one I ever knew was offended by these practices. If any one of us would have sat down and refused to say either one, it would have been an immediate march to the principal’s office and a phone call to our parents. That’s just how things were then.
Back then, it was an insult and a defamation to let the American flag touch the ground; everybody knew that. These days when I see young people walking on or dancing on our flag, it hurts my heart. It is a slap in the face to all who have given so much to defend it.
My stepdaughter is a veteran who had five deployments overseas; the first of which was in Baghdad, the day before war broke out. Years later, when the Crankee Yankee and I, my stepdaughter and her then three-year old daughter, Ava, were at an event together, they played the National Anthem. I watched as she pulled Ava to her feet, showed her how to place her little hand upon her heart, and stand at attention. I have hope for her generation.
We don’t always value what we have always known. I do hope that American History is still being taught in schools; however, I am pretty sure it is not the history I learned in school. I took a look at the website of the National Center for Constitutional Studies regarding the “new” American History being taught these days. In a word, it is chilling.
This quote from Abraham Lincoln says it all for me: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Let us on this Memorial Day not only remember our veterans and those who serve now, but also our past–cherish it, remember it, and most of all, learn from it.